Tuning Percussion Using Ropes or Thongs
The same principles apply here as when using tension rods to tune the drum.
Tension and de-tune the head gradually and evenly around the
Aim for an even tension across the whole head, but remember that natural variation is likely to occur. This can be used to your creative advantage.
There are specific tensioning techniques such as Mali weave for traditional rope-tensioned djembes.
Traditional 'Mali Weave' Rope Tuning on Djembe
(click on image to enlarge)
Many Indian drums such as tabla, naal, dholak and dhol are tuned using sliding pegs or rings. Use the same principles as for tuning drums with natural skin heads using tension rods e.g., tune around the drum rather than using the 'opposites' method.
To get the BEST sound from skin heads, ensure that they are warm. This can be achieved by leaving them in a warm place, rubbing them with your hands or using a heat source e.g., small electric blanket, hairdryer or stage lighting. However, keep a CLOSE WATCH on skin tension as it may get TOO TIGHT and 'EXPLODE'.
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